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Metamorphosis

Modern Medicine Finds New Uses for an Ancient Herb
  • Eng Soon Teoh
Chapter

Abstract

Tubers of Bletilla striata (baiji in Traditional Chinese Medicine) and three additional Bletilla species are employed in TCM as a haemostatic to treat recognizable bleeding from any source. The orchid has been used medicinally for more than 2000 years. This Chapter describes the evolution and popularization of its usage over two millennia. A baiji paste (plaster) anchored on thick paper is used to treat fissured skin. Recently, this idea has been adapted to produce Chuangyiling dressing which accelerates wound healing. Baiji in oil is used to treat burns.

Embolization, blocking the blood supply to a tumour, is one way to control its growth. Potato starch particles are usually used for embolization. In China’s unified hospital system, some doctors investigated the use of starch particles prepared with baij, and doctors at Tongji Medical University in Wuhan were able to report remarkable results using baiji-embolization to treat inoperable liver cancer. In future baiji may be employed for drug delivery and as a carrier to deliver genes to the human body.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eng Soon Teoh
    • 1
  1. 1.SingaporeSingapore

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